Lockdown Legionella Threat

Lockdown Legionella Threat

Experts have urged Insurance brokers to guide clients through proper Legionella Risk Assessment procedures and check public liability insurance policies account for Legionnaires’ disease.

Lockdown risk

As the first lockdown hit the UK in March 2020, the footfall in a large majority of buildings was rapidly declined. Specialists across the insurance industry have voiced their concerns over the potential for a build-up of legionella bacteria whilst buildings remain empty and people are not using the facilities.

The UK is currently in a 3rd national lockdown (at the time of writing, January 2021), therefore the same legionella threat will be looming once again.

Speaking to Insurance Post, BLM Partner and occupational disease expert, Michelle Penn shares her views on this and has called for these risks to be re-evaluated urgently. She said:

“It’s a real opportunity for insurers and brokers to support their customers, signposting guidance from the HSE [Health & Safety Executive] which can ensure employees and customers are protected.”

New 3-Tier Structure

With the country now in various stages of the new Government 3-tier system, there is a new risk of buildings being left unused and therefore a risk of Legionela bacteria forming.

Water Hygiene Services Spokesperson

In May 2020, Water Hygiene Services’ Director Ben Baldwin was interviewed by the Yorksire Evening Post on this very subject.

“Bosses at a Leeds water company have warned about the dangers of a potentially deadly bacteria lurking in the systems of buildings lying empty in the Covid-19 lockdown”.

The article goes on to say;

“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many buildings across the city are currently unused as people remain isolated in their homes – but Bramhope-based Water Hygiene Services has warned this carries a risk of the fatal Legionella bacteria building up in stagnant water or heating systems”.

“Water Hygiene Service is urging those with responsibility for looking after buildings to take steps now to control the risk from Legionella during the lockdown”

Managing director Ben Baldwin said: ‘Hot and cold water systems in buildings that are now empty pose a risk of water stagnation which could lead to a potential build-up of bacteria, therefore to reduce risk, these systems must be reinstated correctly prior to being returned to operation’.

Read the full article here.

Building Closures

Lockdown legionella threat